Tryouts cause stress, pressure for athletes
April 1, 2017
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There are many events in a sports season that could stir up pressure and nervousness in an athlete. It could be an important game, conference or a tournament. But for many, one of the most nerve-wracking things of all is tryout week. As students anticipate their upcoming spring sport season, the pressure increases.
For most sports, tryouts take up one week’s worth of time, and they can run before or after school, with some sports completing two practices a day. For example, water polo tryouts ran from 6 to 7 a.m. and then again from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Stress is a huge factor going into tryouts. Emma Phillips, a junior soccer player, felt this, but has mixed emotions about the experience.
“I would have to say the scariest thing [about tryouts] is trying to not mess up,” Phillips said. “But at the same time I have been through many tryouts for other teams before, so it wasn’t that bad. You realize that eventually everyone messes up anyways, so it’s okay as long as you learn from your mistakes.”
The pressure of sports tryouts are very similar throughout most sports, whether one is being judged by how fast he or she swims, how hard he or she hits or how accurately he or she kicks a ball into the back of a net.
Sophomore Brad Sanford felt this pressure with his water polo tryouts.
“There were a lot of people trying out,” Sanford said. “Way more than last year, so coach said that there was going to be a lot of cuts, no matter what grade you were in. We didn’t know who was going to get cut, so we were all a lot more nervous. […] Since we won state last year, there’s a lot of pressure for us to be as good as last year.”
The anxiety associated with tryouts can be a nuisance to deal with. While some consider it to be a factor that helps them perform better, others like junior Grace Biondo, who plays softball, looks within herself to play better.
“I got over [the pressure] by having confidence in myself and not comparing myself to others,” Biondo said. “Softball is as much mental as it is physical, so if you psych yourself out of playing well, that’s exactly what’s going to happen.”